Cheese is a well-known ingredient in Mexican cuisine and is authentic to the different regions in Mexico.
Spanish settlers brought cows, goats, and sheep to Mexico for use as protein and making dairy products. Prior to the introduction of these animals, the Mexican diet was primarily fruits and vegetables.
You can find cheese with strong Spanish roots, such as Manchego that is often eaten as an appetizer or snack. You are more likely to find Mexican cheese as a component inside or on top of a warm dish. Many cheeses produced in Mexico are often creamy or soft for melting or crumbly for topping. They are not typically served as a standalone offering, as you might find offered as a cheese course on a European menu.
Cheese in Mexico is generally made from raw milk. It is usually not pasteurized, as you would find in the rest of North America.
Types of Mexican Cheeses
This is a crumbly white cheese that is often a combination of cow and goat milk. Queso Fresco was introduced from Burgos, Spain. It is dry with a slightly acidic flavour. Queso Fresco is used as a topping for enchiladas, taquitos, and grilled corn.
This is similar to Queso Fresco. It is a soft and crumbly cheese that can become harder the more it ages. Anejo is primarily used as a garnish or topping over dishes such as refined beans and tortilla soup.
This cheese is named after the town in which it was originated, Cotija, Michoacán. Cotija is a goat cheese that is crumbly, salty, and sharp in flavour. It is often used to top off a fresh salad as it does not melt as well as others.
This cheese is also referred to as Quesillo. It is a soft, white cheese that is made by stretching curds, similar to mozzarella. Oaxaca is a popular cheese for quesadillas and other dishes that call for a stringy, melted cheese.
Manchego hails from the Spanish region of La Mancha. This is a firm, yellow cheese that can be served alongside fruits, meats, and bread. It is also great for melting in a quesadilla or over a burger, even though burgers are not Mexican in nature.
Visit the Dairy Section at Famous Foods
Stop by Famous Foods and visit our diverse selection of. cheese from all over the world. You’ll find authentic cheese from Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, Greece, Ireland, England, Australia, and more!